Trump praises law enforcement for arrest

President Trump praised law enforcement and the FBI for their quick work and subsequent arrest of a suspect in connection with mail bombs across the country.

Posted: Oct 27, 2018 3:16 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2018 3:38 PM

Cesar Sayoc was charged Friday with five federal crimes and faces up to 48 years in prison in connection to improvised explosive devices sent to prominent Democratic politicians, donors and CNN offices in New York.

Sayoc was arrested in a south Florida auto parts store Friday morning as additional explosive devices or suspicious packages were identified in New York and California.

A total of 13 bombs were mailed around the country, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a new conferences, adding that there could be more packages not yet discovered.

"These are not hoax devices," Wray said.

Sayoc was charged with illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and others, and assaulting current and former federal officers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, adding that charges could change or expand as the investigation continues. He initially said Sayoc faced up to 58 years in prison, but the Justice Department later revised that figure to 48.

"This is a law-and-order administration," Sessions said at the Justice Department. "We will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially not political violence."

Speaking at the White House Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump congratulated law enforcement on the arrest and denounced what he called "terrorizing acts." He also called for unity: "peace and love and harmony as fellow Americans."

His remarks came after he has blamed the media this week for rising "anger" in the country while refusing to acknowledge his own role in contributing to divisive rhetoric in the public discourse.

"We must never allow political violence to take root in America," Trump said at one point. "I'm committed to doing everything in my power as President to stop it."

As the situation initially unfolded mid-morning -- before the arrest was announced -- the President complained on Twitter that the news media was busy reporting on "'Bomb' stuff" and not politics.

"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this 'Bomb' stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!" Trump tweeted.

Sessions said a political motive was not immediately known.

Asked why the targets were Democrats or Trump critics, Sessions said, "I don't know. Other than what you might normally expect. He may have been -- appears to be partisan but that will be determined by the facts as the case goes forward."

Sayoc's social media accounts showed he was a fervent supporter of Trump and had posted criticism of CNN and other media outlets. Among the posts were threats to individual political figures and media outlets, including CNN and CNN employees.

Trump told reporters Friday on the South Lawn he had heard Sayoc was a supporter of his, but that didn't mean much to the President.

"I heard he was a person who prefers me over others, but I did not see that," Trump said when asked about images of Trump on Sayoc's van.

The President added, "There's no blame, there's no anything."

Read the complaint against Cesar Sayoc

Sayoc initially cooperative after arrest

FBI agents used flash bangs to arrest Sayoc and took him into custody near an AutoZone store in Plantation, a law enforcement official said. He was initially cooperative and told investigators that the pipe bombs wouldn't have hurt anyone and that he didn't want to harm anyone, the official added.

A white van -- adorned with images of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as a "CNN Sucks" sticker -- in Plantation was towed away Friday to Miramar, Florida, where an FBI field office is located. The official said Sayoc had been kicked out by his parents and was living in the van.

He later retained an attorney so police questioning has ceased, the official added.

DNA found on at least one of the packages, as well as Sayoc's cell phone, helped investigators identify him, multiple law enforcement officials said.

Previous arrests

Sayoc was not previously known to the Secret Service, law enforcement sources said, but Florida records show a string of arrests dating back to the early 1990s.

Notable among them is a 2002 arrest by Miami police for an offense described in online records as a "threat to bomb" and "threaten to discharge destructive device." A police report at the time shows that he threatened to blow up a power company and that "it would be worse than September 11th."

Sayoc pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation, records show.

The records show a total of eight arrests for offenses, including grand theft, battery, fraud and drug possession, as well as multiple probation violations. In 2014, he was arrested after stealing copper pipes at a Home Depot, to which he plead guilty.

The adjudication of each of the arrests could not immediately be determined from the summary of offenses provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Sayoc appears to have pleaded no contest to some offenses. Prosecutors appear to have dropped charges in other matters.

Sayoc also was arrested in North Carolina in 1999 on a stolen vehicle charge, which was later dismissed.

Florida voting records show Sayoc is a registered Republican. He filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

New packages Friday

Earlier Friday, authorities intercepted suspicious packages intended for Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California; and major Democratic donor Tom Steyer, the latest to be sent to prominent Democrats and critics of Trump that were discovered earlier this week.

Authorities believe the package addressed to Steyer is from Sayoc, according to multiple law enforcement officials.

This brings the total number of known packages sent by Sayoc to 14. However, he's been charged with sending only 13 packages.

One of the officials says the package has been rendered safe and will be transported to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis.

The FBI said Friday that the package addressed to Booker was discovered in Florida and is "similar in appearance to the others." Sources told CNN the package was addressed to the senator's Camden, New Jersey, office. Booker confirmed the package was intended for him but declined to comment further to CNN. The packages intended for Harris and Steyer were discovered in California, law enforcement sources said.

The package intended for Clapper also was addressed to CNN, a law enforcement official said. It was found at a New York City postal facility and was similar to the other packages, the official added.

The Clapper package arrived in a manila envelope with six US flag stamps, just like others discovered this week. The return address is that of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Florida office, which was the address on packages intended for former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire and Democratic donor George Soros, actor Robert De Niro, former Attorney General Eric Holder, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former CIA Director John Brennan. There is no information that suggests Wasserman Schultz sent them.

Clapper, who has frequently criticized Trump, vowed to CNN Friday morning that he wouldn't be intimidated in light of the discovery.

"I do want to just echo one thing that John Brennan said and that this is not going to silence the administration's critics," Clapper said.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 710607

Reported Deaths: 13248
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion968581722
Lake51908949
Allen39337672
Hamilton34643406
St. Joseph34306543
Elkhart27477432
Vanderburgh22099394
Tippecanoe21927213
Porter17987301
Johnson17571374
Hendricks16854310
Clark12715190
Madison12367337
Vigo12240244
Monroe11510166
LaPorte11204204
Delaware10382184
Howard9698211
Kosciusko9165114
Hancock8014139
Bartholomew7913155
Warrick7702155
Floyd7568176
Wayne6917198
Grant6855171
Boone6568100
Morgan6414138
Dubois6091117
Marshall5801109
Dearborn571276
Cass5698104
Henry5588101
Noble543683
Jackson494172
Shelby481395
Lawrence4349118
Gibson429589
Harrison429171
Clinton420953
Montgomery418986
DeKalb413284
Whitley382239
Huntington379780
Miami373365
Knox367189
Steuben367157
Putnam353460
Jasper352546
Wabash348178
Adams338253
Ripley335469
Jefferson318080
White308854
Daviess289999
Wells286881
Decatur279592
Fayette277362
Greene271085
Posey269533
Scott261553
Clay255445
LaGrange255470
Randolph236080
Washington231631
Spencer228131
Jennings225448
Fountain209345
Sullivan208042
Starke206252
Owen192756
Fulton192140
Jay186429
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178353
Rush170824
Vermillion166343
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford133931
Pike130734
Pulaski114345
Newton104234
Brown100740
Crawford97914
Benton97413
Martin83115
Warren80215
Switzerland7698
Union70110
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1058395

Reported Deaths: 19033
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1229981360
Cuyahoga1080042072
Hamilton785031170
Montgomery50326998
Summit45710915
Lucas40568768
Butler37858572
Stark31586896
Lorain24333473
Warren23964293
Mahoning21029584
Lake20143365
Clermont19480229
Delaware18162130
Licking16185207
Fairfield15796197
Trumbull15666461
Medina14961259
Greene14765236
Clark13697293
Wood12828185
Portage12481196
Allen11374229
Richland11102198
Miami10568214
Muskingum8729127
Wayne8619209
Columbiana8589226
Pickaway8454121
Marion8409135
Tuscarawas8393240
Erie7644154
Hancock6746124
Ross6727146
Ashtabula6563166
Geauga6563146
Scioto6314101
Belmont5657159
Union560247
Lawrence5483102
Jefferson5372149
Huron5333114
Darke5285121
Sandusky5208120
Seneca5163120
Washington5095108
Athens509256
Auglaize477683
Mercer473785
Shelby458092
Knox4418108
Madison426559
Putnam423199
Ashland414488
Fulton411667
Defiance405596
Crawford3894102
Brown387755
Logan375176
Preble372498
Clinton364060
Ottawa359578
Highland348460
Williams330074
Champaign322357
Jackson309351
Guernsey308749
Perry290949
Fayette278448
Morrow277239
Hardin265964
Henry265066
Coshocton261058
Holmes255199
Van Wert239863
Pike234231
Gallia233346
Adams230252
Wyandot228354
Hocking210759
Carroll189747
Paulding169239
Meigs141738
Noble133037
Monroe129041
Morgan107723
Harrison105936
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 39°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 39°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 41°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 39°
Lima
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 37°
Patchy frost is expected Thursday night and near seasonable highs are on the way for Friday afternoon.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events